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Baylor College of Medicine

Secure Email FAQs

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Email encryption is the process of protecting the content of email messages (containing sensitive data) from being read by unintended recipients. By leveraging the Proofpoint encryption service, which is responsible for scanning messages for spam and viruses, Baylor is able to provide our users with the ability to send encrypted mail whenever necessary.

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Baylor Email Customers

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What types of emails should be encrypted?

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Not all emails sent need to be encrypted. Emails that should be encrypted are those that contain confidential BCM information. Confidential BCM information includes, but may not be limited to, proprietary research, clinical, academic, administrative, and affiliate institution information, financial information, intellectual property, employee and student identifiable information, and human subject research participant and patient protected health information.

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How do I send an encrypted email?

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To send an encrypted email, simply enter the keyword tag [secure] (with the brackets) anywhere in the subject line of the message. Note that you do not have to include spaces between the message subject and the tag [secure]. Here are some examples of subject lines that would trigger the message to be sent encrypted:

  • [secure] Lab report
  • Lab report[secure]
  • Lab[secure]report
  • Lab [secure] report
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How long will the encrypted messages I send be available to the recipients?

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Encrypted emails will be available for 30 days from the date sent.

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When I send an email to someone else at Baylor using the Baylor email system, is the mail encrypted?

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Yes, when sending emails to others through the Baylor Exchange email system, the mail is encrypted in transit.

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External Recipients

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What does a recipient of a secure Baylor message have to do to open the message?

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When the recipient of the secure message opens the message sent, he/she is presented with an attachment. After clicking on the attachment, he/she must click the "Click to read message" button to sign in to the Proofpoint encryption service to access the actual message. The first time the recipient of the message receives a secure email from a Baylor sender, he/she will have to register with Proofpoint and set a password before he/she is able to read the secure message. Subsequent access to secure emails from Baylor senders will simply require the password that was originally set.

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Can I reply to or forward an encrypted email to someone else?

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Your ability to reply to or forward an encrypted message depends upon the sending organization's policies. If you do not see a "Reply," "Reply All," or "Forward" link, it is because the sender of the message cannot allow recipients to reply to or forward the message. If you are allowed to reply to a message, your reply will be sent securely.

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Can I add recipients to the encrypted email I received?

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Your ability to add or edit the recipient list when you reply to an encrypted message depends upon the sending organization’s policies. You will either be allowed to add or delete recipients from the To and CC recipient fields or they will be fixed and you cannot change them.

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Can recipients read the secure message on their smartphones?

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Some smartphones cannot download files or modify HTML files. The secure message is sent as an HTML attachment, so it is possible that some recipients may not be able to read it on their smartphones.

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Can recipients read the secure message on their smartphones?

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Some smartphones cannot download files or modify HTML files. The secure message is sent as an HTML attachment, so it is possible that some recipients may not be able to read it on their smartphones.

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If I reply to a secure message I received from Baylor using Proofpoint encryption, why do I not see the email in my Sent folder?

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Proofpoint does not automatically place a copy of a secure message in your Sent folder, because when you reply to the secure message, you are replying within Proofpoint's webmail interface, not your own email interface. Select the "Send me a copy" check box when you forward or reply to a secure message so that a copy will be sent to your address for your records.

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What happens if I forget the password I set on the Proofpoint encryption window during registration?

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If you forget the password you set during Proofpoint registration, you can click the "Forgot Password" link to be prompted for your security question. If you remember the answer to your security question, you will be able to reset your Proofpoint password. If you cannot remember the answer to your security question, please contact the Baylor OIT Help Desk at 713-798-8737.

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What happens if I type the wrong password too many times on the Proofpoint encryption login window?

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If you enter your Proofpoint password incorrectly three times, you may be locked out of the Proofpoint encryption service. Please contact the Baylor OIT Help Desk at 713-798-8737 to request that an administrator reset your password.